'Superwomen' Often Anorexic

Pressure on girls to be 'perfect' increases risk of eating disorders
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2007 11:30 AM CDT
G.B. ENGLAND. Brighton. Brighton beach. 2005. (LON72177)   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – The driving need to be perfect—or "Superwoman" syndrome—puts girls as young as 13 at a higher risk of developing an eating disorder, reports the Independent. "Superwomen want the perfect life. No matter how well they're doing, they never feel quite good enough," says one researcher.

Anorexia is now the No. 3 chronic illness among adolescent girls, with an estimated one in 150 15-year-olds affected. The study suggests unhealthy perfectionism is heightened by exposure to 'perfect women' in the media. And for girls attending private schools: "It's definitely worse," says one 16-year-old student. "A and B grades aren't good enough."